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Metadata and desktop.ini on network server

Sep 25, 2015 at 10:33 AM
I'm trying to add some metadata to our system (Windows 7) at work. I actually couldn't get FileMeta to work properly but I understand that it doesn't work with folders anyway which is my main requirement.

I did however manage to customise folder using the desktop.ini file. With this I can customise the icon of the folder and also add a tooltip (which also appears in the "comments" details column). However, I can only seem to do this on local folders/files, so my main question is this:
  1. How can I create desktop.ini and customise folders on a network server (or is called network share?)?
Every time I try to do this the desktop.ini file disappears and Windows tells me that the it "could not find this item".. I've tried doing this using python instead which again works locally but I get an IOerror if I try to do it on the network. So I assume it's a permission thing??
  1. Is there any other way of adding metadata to folders?
The wishlist would be:
  • custom thumbnails (jpegs as well as .ico files)
  • 'comments' column (windows explorer)
  • 'authors' column (windows explorer)
  • 'rating' column (windows explorer)
And I would like to be able to edit this all via python..

Hopefully someone can tell me whats possible or if there are any workarounds..

Sep 27, 2015 at 12:16 PM
I would also very much like to be able to add metadata to folders. I’ve never regarded default.ini as a very satisfactory approach, and with your reports of its failure to work on a server, it seems even less of a good way forward.

As mentioned in previous discussions, it turns out that NTFS supports the addition of alternate streams to folders as well as files, and the use of the same APIs to write general metadata properties to them that File Meta uses for files. The problem is that I have not been able to find any extensions to Windows Explorer that will display this metadata as it does for files, let alone edit it.

So, at the moment, the only way forward that I can see for folder metadata is to use some other UI to display and edit it - but I am really reluctant to go there. For me, doing everything in Windows Explorer is a huge win.

Sep 29, 2015 at 9:41 AM
Hi Dijji,

Thanks for your reply. Do you have any ideas why the desktop.ini file might not work on a server? Maybe because its a system file and I don't have permissions to view that??

It seems other than that there aren't any good alternatives.. I'd be very interested to know if you crack it though!